What are the top highlights in the market this morning?

As investors await quarterly earnings reports from megacap tech companies, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 70 points. The S&P 500 futures fell 0.1%, while Nasdaq 100 futures were muted. 

Tesla reported earnings that topped expectations, earning more than $1 billion in net income in a quarter. Shares increased more than 2% during the premarket. 

Today, investors will hear from the likes of JetBlue, UPS, General Electric, and Starbucks. After the bell, big tech names like Alphabet, Microsoft, and Apple will share their latest economic data. 

“It appears that we’re going to get really solid earnings from these companies and that should give a little bit of a boost to the market. Some of these names have already run so much this year that perhaps we don’t get a large bounce,” one strategist said. “Apple may be your best opportunity to see some movement because they’ve been in more of a consolidation phase over the last few months.” 

Investors are also waiting for news from the Federal Reserve regarding updated monetary policy. 

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This Olympic champ is out of the team finals with an injury

After stumbling on a vault, Simone Biles sustained an injury that forced her to leave the Olympics team competition early. This means that the U.S. women’s gymnastics team will have to fare without her for the duration of the team event. 

Her other team members will continue their efforts to snag a gold medal during today’s competition. Biles and Sunisa Lee are at the helm of one of the world’s greatest gymnastics groups, although they were dominated by Russian athletes during this weekend’s qualifiers. 

The pressure is on today, as the U.S. has earned a medal in every team event over the past three decades. 

What should you expect now that Biles is out of the competition? 

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This is why Donald Trump is “obviously” running for president

Many of us have been holding our breaths and crossing our fingers as we await more news on whether or not former President Donald Trump will make another bid to be this country’s commander in chief. As I’ve previously reported, Trump has teased another campaign many times, though he’s stopped short of giving a definitive answer. 

That said, another run for president has never seemed so imminent. Michael Wolff, who has already penned three books on the leader, suggested in a new essay that this move is “obvious.” 

“It is an existential predicament,” Wolff writes. “He can’t be Donald Trump without a claim on the presidency. He can’t hold the attention and devotion of the Republican Party if he is not both once and future king — and why would he ever give that up?”

He continued: “But perhaps most important, there is his classic hucksterism, and his synoptic U.S.P. — unique selling proposition. In 2016 it was ‘the wall.’ For 2022 and 2024 he will have another proposition available: ‘the steal,’ a rally cry of rage and simplicity.” 

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How does this firefighter die in a hotel window on his wedding anniversary trip?

A wedding anniversary celebration in Cancun, Mexico ended in tragedy, authorities say. Texas firefighter Elijah Snow was found dead in the bathroom window of a different hotel from the one he and his wife had been staying in.

According to authorities, Snow died of mechanical asphyxiation in a bathroom window.

Investigators are attempting to determine what led to his death, which, so far appears to have been an accident. Officials are unsure of why Snow left the hotel that he’d checked into, and who may have been with him at the time of the incident. 

Apparently, after drinks, Snow’s wife went to their room to get some sleep while Snow stayed at the hotel bar. But when she woke up around 4 a.m., and Snow still hadn’t returned, she started looking for her husband. 

“The Fire Department will take all necessary steps to ensure that Elijah’s family is properly supported throughout this difficult time,” the Arlington Professional Firefighters Association said in a statement. 

What else do we know about this incident right now?

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What are the top market headlines to know this morning?

This morning, futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped approximately 150 points, after a record-high closing on Friday.  The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also logged gains on Friday. 

Investors are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s July meeting, which begins tomorrow and extends through Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the world’s largest digital currency briefly neared $40,000 before settling just below $39,000 — a number not seen since mid-June. Investors expect that the coin’s volatile ride in recent months may impact Tesla’s earnings report, as the electric vehicle maker owns quite a bit of the currency. 

The delta variant of the virus is continuing to infect Americans, with cases mounting in all states. 

And, lawmakers are hoping to reach a bipartisan agreement on infrastructure as early as today.

What else do we know about this right now? 

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Which Americans may need to get the virus vaccine booster shot?

In a move that surprised no one, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared to change his tune slightly when it came to a vaccine booster shot yesterday. He said in an interview that he thought that a particular subset of the population might need yet another jab after all.

This change of heart comes a matter of weeks after he’d previously said, “given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot, a boost…” At the time, Pfizer had been suggesting that another dose might be in order. 

Yesterday, the so-called expert flipped the script, saying that a particular demographic could require the booster after all.

“Those who are transplant patients, cancer chemotherapy, auto-immune disease, that are on immunosuppressant regimens, those are the kind of individuals that if there’s going to be a third booster, which might likely happen, would be among first the vulnerable,” he said. 

He continued: “It’s a dynamic situation. It’s a work in progress, it evolves like in so many other areas of the pandemic. You’ve got to look at the data.”

But if he was looking at “the data” then why is his attitude on boosters flip-flopping so much? 

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This man kidnapped and killed an 18-year-old Amish woman

Yesterday, a 35-year-old “predator of the worst kind” plead guilty to kidnapping and killing a young Amish woman. 

Justo Smoker was convicted on a slew of charges, including third-degree murder, and faces between 35.5 to 71 years behind bars. When combined with the 17 years he owes for a separate incident, Smoker essentially faces life in prison. 

In April, Smoker apparently led police to the remains of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos, who was last seen leaving church in June of 2020.

Smoker is believed to have stabbed and strangled Stoltzfoos just a few hours after kidnapping her. He moved her body from one location to another.

What else do we know about this disturbing case? 

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Will Biden finally be forced to resign because of the “serious stuff going on”?

As I mentioned yesterday, President Joe Biden’s performance at this week’s town hall was despicable, embarrassing.

But the former White House doctor who served George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump believes there could be bigger repercussions at stake. 

“Something’s SERIOUSLY wrong with Biden – and it’s only going to get WORSE!” Ronny Jackson wrote in a tweet. “It’s past the point of embarrassment. He’s lost. He’s confused. He can barely put a coherent sentence together. He MUST have a cognitive exam and release the results!”

Jackson linked to a clip from his Thursday interview on Hannity, which aired on Fox News. 

“They’re going to convince him to resign from office at some point in the near future for medical issues or they’re going to have to use the 25th Amendment to get rid of this man right now,” he said. 

But just how likely is it that Biden will end up facing any consequences for his clear cognitive decline? 

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Why this top executive believes work flexibility is “here to stay”

According to a top executive who sits on the board of three major companies, work flexibility is not going anywhere anytime soon. That’s largely because officials want to see how the delta virus variant plays out as it takes hold in this country. 

“Companies are watching the data very carefully,” said Shellye Archambeau, who is a director at Verizon, Nordstrom, and Roper Technologies. “What I’m seeing is they’re trying to remain flexible, creating the optionality for employees to come back to work but still watching the numbers and how the rates are going.” 

Executives are also grappling with how to handle their unvaccinated employees. Archambeau says that peer pressure could ultimately force some workers to get the jab. 

“I think as time goes through, companies are absolutely strongly encouraging employees to be vaccinated. The way in which they’ll be able to work, the kinds of roles they’ll be able to play, I think, in time will be affected by whether they’re vaccinated or not.  … People will want to be vaccinated in order to actually do well within the company.”

How are companies navigating these challenges and uncertainties so far?

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This 61-year-old woman is beaten with a pot before her walker is stolen

A  61-year-old woman was brutally assaulted earlier this week, and, now, the New York City Police Department is searching for the several suspects involved. 

The victim was apparently thrown against a railing before she was beaten with a kitchen pan by a second suspect on Tuesday night. A surveillance video of the incident shows a third suspect kicking the woman while she is on the ground. 

The group then took her across the street, punched her in the back, and stole cash and credit cards. They even took her walker, authorities said. 

This incident reflects increasing crime across the city. For instance, data shows a 32% uptick in grand larceny, and a 16% increase in robbery, when compared to this time last year.

What else do we know about the incident at this time? 

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